On Friday, (my proper day off), I mentioned I was off to faff about in the garden and make a herb spiral.
And so I did. Warning: garden nerdery ahead…
Hard labour, (I think moving river rocks and loads of compost about my property constitutes hard labour), seems to be one of my ways of dealing with emotional turmoil. That possibly sounds a bit dramatic for what I was actually feeling on Friday, but I did have the glums over the gaping Chook-sized hole that was left by the loss of my dear ol’ poulet friends. You know – even when you’ve reconciled yourself, and you’re feeling philosophical about things, there’s still feelings, in’t there?
And basically, I’m more likely to go and garden it out (or walk it out) than sit and wallow. Although there are times that a (brief) wallow does wonders for the soul. I need physical activity to move through emotions. And personally, I’m more inclined to drop a few tears on the earth, than to seek solace in a bag of chips. Merlin however, is definitely an emotional eater. But we won’t go there, just now.
I also love my projects. I need projects in general, as I have a love of completion. And when I have loooong projects stretching ahead of me, I feel all the more that I must have little bite-sized endeavours dotted amongst the epic sagas. Boosts the morale…or something.
The herb spiral project was such a one. It only took me an hour or so to finish, (including transplantings), and I used materials that I found around the property; so it cost nothing. There were quite a few river rocks that were randomly dotted about the place. So I hefted them around to my back door, where the herb spiral was born.
I didn’t really have a plan, but I did have some pressing requirements. Namely, to not disturb any of the already established plants, (such as my climbing rose). Also, that spot is a sheltered sun-trap and a balmy little microclimate on this shady mountainside. It’s where things like gardenias and herbs and roses do so well, and I wanted to get more plants in that conveniently located spot – especially kitchen herbs and greens. A herb spiral is perfect because it extends the space potential, without colonising too much actual space.
And finally, I don’t like straight lines. A spiral couldn’t be further from that notion. I’m working on creating a bit of a meandering permaculture garden, and eliminating as many straight lines and formalities as I can. A happy chaos is much more fitting for Rapunzel’s than a manicured nicety.
Below is how this spot looked before, as a small rectangular apron of garden…(apologies for the shoddy photos):
Even though there is a subtle ascent up the spiral, overall it isn’t particularly steep. This was deliberate on my part because the design aims to take full advantage of the light and the sun, (I don’t need to create any shaded bits within the spiral as many herb spirals aim to do, as I have enough of those around the property already). Once the spiral gets established, and the goodies I’ve planted grow up a bit, I think it will come into its own.
During the Winter, I’ll be adding salad greens amongst the herbs. But in Summer, when it gets too hot there for lettuces, I’ll focus more on growing basil, strawberries, a couple of sunflowers, and possibly chilli.
Anyway. It’s a long weekend here, so I’m going to plant some more lavender cuttings, (a small army in fact), plot out a raised bed for growing vegies; and draw up a plan for a garden that will contain a pomegranate tree, surrounded by roses.
Cheerio, and happy Monday to you! xx